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tv   [untitled]    August 10, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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commissioner fung: you know what works. >> welcome back to the august 2011 board of appeals. we are: item eight. golden valley neighborhood association, shirley jacobs, jeffrey lee, and megan chechile protesting the issuance of a
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permit to alter a building, a revision to exterior patio and submitting planning code 312 notification. the public hearing was held june 22, 2011. it is on for further consideration. the matter was continued to give time to review additional noise negation measures. additional briefing was allowed. we are going to hear first from the permit holder or his attorney. you will have three minutes. >> ok. i did not do it. i am sorry. vice president garcia: before we go, i think most of these people were not in the room when we had the original swearing in. whether or not you want to go up -- go through that again is up
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to the director and you. president goh: i think it depends on who -- i am sorry. it depends how many people are intending to speak. maybe we can cross that bridge later. >> there are 59 of us. that is including myself. i do not think any of us were in the room. president goh: why don't we go ahead and do it, if you don't mind. >> if you intend to testify and which the board to give your testimony evidenciary wait, please stand and raise your right hand. do you sell the swear or affirm the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? >> before you begin, i wanted to
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give the president an opportunity to put on the record, since she was absent from the hearing previously, that she watched the video. president goh: i did watch the video, the whole thing of the previous hearing. >> go ahead. three minutes. >> i am the operating manager of the brickyard. during our last hearing, we hired an acoustical engineer to conduct additional sound analysis and identify changes of reduced noise. we retained a local acoustical engineering firm that has worked on numerous city projects, including the young museum. on friday, july 8, the current principal conducted sound readings at the brickyard. they confirmed the findings of the previous entertainment commission reports that the proposed use of the patio conforms to the noise ordinance. mr. salter also shed light on
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two points mentioned by appellants at the last meeting. specifically, sound readings taken from street level are accurate, because the city of san francisco considers the property line to be a plane extending into space. was levels at the second and third stories would be the same as those measured at street level. the brickyard interior does not act like a trumpet projecting sound out of the front doors. architectural features of the venue, such as sound absorbing wall and ceiling panels, and help control noise buildup within the venue. mr. salter is here today to answer any questions you may have. this is three separate sound readings by experts that confirm the conditions are adequate to maintain the noise level below the required ordinance. this is a permitted use in the commercial district. we have an open 14 months and the appellants maintain we have done nothing to address their
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concern. this is not true. we explored many options to address noise concerns. this work resulted in conditions for use of the patio that we volunteered, including closing the patio and doors by 10:00 p.m., limiting use to 12 seats, restricting doors that open, and installing a sound-absorbing awning. none of these conditions were in place when we first opened in 2010. yet the appellants are still using examples from this time to make their case. with these conditions in case come out -- in place, the planning commission unanimously approved this patio in january. the brickyard has taken more measures to address noise than any other businesses in union street. we've tried to work within the existing physical structure because changing it would result in construction costs and cause further financial strain on a struggling business. noise ordinance compliance is not dependent on physical structure in place. it also requires responsible
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management. if it were physical structures alone, no venue would be allowed to have windows or doors that open to the street. giving the existing structure with the conditions in place, there will be no violations of the noise ordinance. we are responsible business owners and neighbors. we do not recommend additional changes. in closing, thank you, we do not recommend changes for the physical structure. we request the board denied the appeal and upheld the conditions imposed by the planning commission. vice president garcia: i have a question for your acoustical expert, mr. solomon. there seems to be some dispute about what the base ambient noise level should be. would you tell me what they are and whether -- but whether what you think they are agrees or disagrees with the entertainment commission? may be shed some light. i intend to as the other side
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also. why does waa state it very differently? >> the ambient noise measurements -- my name is ethan halter. the measurements of background noise that we took on the evening of july 8 were noted in our report. they were higher than those noted in the wia report, but similar to the ones noted in the entertainment commission report. vice president garcia: is that formulary? it seems as though when i was reading the papers that were you to want to know about ambient noise levels in a given block there is some more you can go and a chart that would tell you what that is. it is not an independent reading taken by someone such as yourself or someone else.
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there is an exact, absolute number that exists out there. is that inaccurate, my impression? >> if i may say, there are guidelines to typical background noise levels in a variety of different types of neighborhoods. indeed wia report, they show a graphic that shows everything from rural farm land to right next to train tracks. those could be considered reasonably representative of a typical neighborhoods of that type. there is also the on-site measurements approach, where you actually go to the site in question and conduct measurements of the noise levels that exist there. vice president garcia: so for the record, the bass ambient noise levels used by the entertainment commission are the exact same base ambient noise levels you use? or do you do your own and have
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some measurement that was different than the entertainment commission? >> the measurements were different. my measurement, wilson eric's measurement, and the entertainment commission measurements. our measurements were similar to one of the measurements, the times the entertainment commission was out there. the wilson measurements for quieter than the ones we measured, which is one of the points in the report. the ambient noise level in the neighborhood goes up and down depending what is going on in the neighborhood. cars, buses, airplanes, equipment and various rooftops, people talking. to the extent that the ambience was measured by our firm or others, it changes depending on the time of the even. vice president garcia: you took
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how many readings? >> we were at the bar for an hour or so. vice president garcia: mean you were outside, in front of the bar? >> we were across the street for a portion of that time. vice president garcia: what was the range? >> in our report, the outside measurements were about 63 dba or so. vice president garcia: that would be a medium or a mean. what was the range? >> i do not have that information. vice president garcia: did you choose the figure you chose? >> that is what is typically done in environmental measurements, what is known as the leq of the time we were there, the term. it is used in planning analyses to arrive at the contribution of
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a particular noise source as compares to the already existing noise sources. if you have a freeway, for example, and want to add more lines of the added traffic, what does that do to the overall noise level due to the freeway, or a rooftop fan, for example? you add it to the environment that is on 10 hours a day. how does that change what is already existing in that neighborhood? we looked at what are the changes in the ambient noise levels, or noise levels at that site due to various operating conditions of the brickyard bar and restaurant. doors opened, doors closed across the street and close in. vice president garcia: it seems to me that if you are going to
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establish a base based on those figures, you could choose a night when the bar was particularly loud, and that would establish a higher ambient noise level. that is why i am asking whether there is some range or other established way of deciding what the ambient noise level should be for a neighborhood. tell me this. what does leq stand for? >> equivalent noise level. noise goes up and down. it varies over time. the leq is a measure of what happens if you take that energy and make it equivalent over a particular time. vice president garcia: it is like a mean? >> it is somewhat like that, but it is a little different than that. it is dependent on the time, and it is equivalent. vice president garcia: thank
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you. president goh: i have a question. maybe you can answer my question. it sounded from your earlier comments, and maybe mr. salter might be better to respond to this -- it sounded as if the measurements were taken at the ground level, and not a but the third level. i think i heard you say there is not a difference. >> that is correct. president goh: yet they were not measured. >> we extrapolated and used our experience to make that statement. president goh: ok. thank you. >> thank you. we can hear from the appellants now.
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>> i am still a little bit nervous, but i am getting better at this. i am representing golden gate valley. i also live across the street from the brickyard. we are here to request this board rescinded the permit for a second store deck with adjoining open doors. although this board requested that the applicant themselves investigate the noise impact caused by their project and work with us to find technical solutions to meet our reasonable concerns, that unfortunately did not happen. instead, they came up with a custom some report, in our opinion, taken in a very minute amount of time to support their position that there is no problem. the first time we were provided any information, even though we contacted them right after the appeal hearing and also at the
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union street association meeting, was when they filed their brief to this board on july 28. after they filed that brief, they've been contacted us and said come on over and meet with our sound expert. that was the night before our response brief was due to be filed. in that brief, they said there was no problem, which they have just said, and that no mitigation was possible or legally required. at that point when we got their brief, we knew what our experience was. since they did not do what this board had advised and we thought there were going to do, we did. at considerable expense, we hired an acoustician to evaluate their sound report. when his review indicated the applicant's report was flawed and inconsistent with some bubbles that could be


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